Friday, August 26, 2005

Isn’t it wonderful they do that?

Yeah Ra Go! Good Job! I can’t believe you did THAT! That’s Awesome!
Way BIG bravery badges for you!

This month has been mighty successful for the young ones of our family. I think Sami more than Punky has a true fear of heights but both these children just flew out of their comfort zone and, in one case, fell with wondrous grace. What a triumph. I love these successes and I am glad I didn’t have to see Punky’s.

Sami’s story first, seeing that she was the first to address her fear of heights. She is only 10 yrs old but for those 10 years she had had great difficulty with being up high. As she has grown older her tolerance for height has increased. I am sure that is a normal thing for most kids. It is most noticeable though, that her beginning tolerance for height was no higher than eye to eye.

The first time I lifted her up over my head as an infant, to coo up at her, she just scream and stiffen like a board. I felt so bad. She was really good at telling me what she couldn’t do.

This year has been a break through year for her. This spring she has discovered the delights of climbing trees. She loved sitting in the tree, swaying with the breezes. The weather was so nice, I even sat out there with her, just to listen to the birds. (The sun is better to carve by you know).

It helped that our little crabapple trees, (the one she climbs), is still pretty small. It is in the front yard where she can get lots of attention and encouragement too. Best of all she could work up to it slowly without her brother giving her too much advice. She sidled the kitchen stool beside the tree, then the ladder, one step at a time, until she had her little self seated on the lowest branch. (5 feet off the ground). All these little victories led up to the big challenge in August.

Every August the city of Kearns has a recreation festival featuring swimming-diving activities, ice skating, recreation sports, and for the grand finale they provide a wonderful fireworks show that night. They call it the “Fire, Water, Ice Festival”. We had been anticipating their fireworks show for the whole month of July because we didn’t go to any other shows this year. The Kearns show is only about 3 miles away and if we get close enough we can see them quite nicely.

Punky and his dad decided that they were going to watch them from the roof top again this year. They had their bag of popcorn and flashlights already for the event. Sami must have been thinking this over for a while. As the boys were getting the ladder set up, we kept encouraging Amy to go up too. (Mama was staying down on the ground where it is safe you see) I didn’t think she could make herself climb up “clear to the roof.” She really wanted to go with her dad so she set it in her mind to do it.
Punky climbed up first. He kept encouraging her from up above while Mama supported her on the steps from behind. She just marched straight up and swung her leg off the ladder and onto the roof.
SHE DID IT!!! WOW what an accomplishment. She got to watch the fireworks show up in the “Bravery Seats”!

Mar. 2004
Punky is our little daredevil. I have to keep a close eye on him to keep him safe. At 12 years old he doesn’t have the concept that disasters can happen to him so he tries all the interesting stuff he sees the older kids doing. I guess that is typical but a little worrisome. Once he has a bad experience and learns that is “not good” then he is firm in staying away from that, what ever it is. Case in point;

On our Moab trip last year we went four wheeling along a trail called Chicken Corners Overlook. This is really a nice ride until about the last 5 miles or so, and then evolves into the nightmare from H, E, double hockey sticks, if you are fearful. The road works its way out, along the very edge of a canyon. At least a million feet below us was the Green River. That is where the chicken part comes in.

You don’t look to the side of you, you don’t let go of the “sissy handle”, you don’t sit on the passenger side, you don’t lean on the door, and you better have brown pants on. It is way scary and I did plenty of complaining. I pert near let fly a few choice words to my dearly “Beloved” about what I thought of his driving. (He just giggle-grinned and said “Oh mama, you worry to much”.) Don’t ya just hate that!!!

Well, at the end of the 3 miles of pain, oh I mean trail, it pulls in toward the canyon wall. This is where you turn around but only if you back up. I absolutely hate this four wheel maneuver and was having none of it. The kids and I got out of the Jeep. Papa Bear could go over the edge, just giggling away, if he wanted but I was having none of it. We waited in a safe place for daddy to do the turnaround. Actually I was directing him on how far back to go. I always tell him where to ….. Not really.

When he got the Jeep straightened out, parked, and brakes locked, he came back over to where we were huddled. I had a firm grip on the back of Punky’s shirt collar while Sami was certainly not feeling any temptation to wander.

(I think this was the best trip husband has had in to long. It was fun to see him just glow with delight and pride.) Meanwhile after all the razing my family was giving me, I was going to show them and myself that I was indeed, brave and not a CHICKEN.

I told Papa Bear that was going out to the “point” and he was in charge of the kids. I bravely marched out along the footpath. Did I say I was feeling very brave? What a view. It was breathtakingly beautiful. I stood there (hugging the canyon wall) just taking in the view when Papa Bear called out for me to turn around. He wanted to take a picture of me out there. (my bravery badge moment).

Well, in my honey’s attempt to multitask with Punky around, in dealing with his camera, husband took his eyes off Punky. That break in concentration was all Punky needed. (Did I tell you Punky is 11?) This is not good. Punky had it in his mind to go out there where Mama was. NOT GOOD. “BAD Daddy, don’t ever do that again”.

When I saw Punky walking out to me and my heart jumped up into my throat. I hollered at him to STOP and he just hollered back “What did you say?” He kept on walking. I started walking toward him hoping to keep him away from the really narrow point where I had been. When he finally reached me, I grabbed him and pulled him back against the canyon wall. I told him how dangerous it was for me and now especially because he was out here with me.

He had no concept of the possibly that he could slip, slide over the edge, and die. I guess I didn’t either. It was really thoughtless of me to risked my own life for the sake of bravado let alone that of my son. Why would I do a thing that I wouldn’t want my son to do? BAD Mama, and I won’t do that again.
We carefully made our way back to safety. He softly said to me “Wow mom I didn’t worry about it until you told me.” I hope he learned some wisdom, I know I did.

Punky’s exploits in August are pretty impressive too. The youth of the ward have been trying to have a swimming party over to the Oquirrh Pool complex for about a month now. Each time the appointed day arrives, the weather turns bad and it is cancelled. Last Thursday they were finally “good to go”. The whole herd of young people, 12-18, turned up for the free swim and food.

The diving pool is pretty amazing. They have the springboards, (high and low) and they have the platform tower that has 5, 7, 10 meter levels. They call them the red, blue, and white levels because of the color of flags that are flying on each levels. Punky had always told me with a chuckle that he WAS going to go off one of those tower levels. My reply was always, “Not in this lifetime, bud” He would giggle at me knowing he had pushed one of my fear buttons.

Well, I told him Thursday before he left for this swim trip that he had better not go on the tower because he can’t swim to well yet, and falling that far he would go WAY under the water. “Hahaha,” he tells me. I foolishly think I have made an impression.

Well to make a long story short and not to steal his thunder, (He still needs to post his dialog and story of this achievement), he DID go off the 5 meter tower. (15 feet) I have Monica to thank for all her encouragement for him.

He came home so jazzed he couldn’t stand still. He was hopping around showing how he held his nose, then let go of his nose, and that the 5 meter is only a few feet above the regular high dive and so it didn’t take to much more bravery to do it. Then he names the kids that went off the highest level. “They do these really neat, stand with your back to the water, walk off’s. Like this mom.” (this is Not good for mama’s BP)

He tells us that it was because of his swim shorts that he didn’t die. You see he has these zip off leggings pants, with real pockets, that he was using for swimming shorts. He tells me that while he was falling off the 15 foot tower, his pockets inflated with air and kept him from sinking to the bottom of the pool. He was so proud. His face was like lightning and his smile split his face ear to ear.

I was proud of him and happy for his joy in learning about himself, but…. Why do they grow up, when you are not looking?



At 2:17 PM, September 05, 2005, Blogger cmhl said...

those diving boards made me feel my out of control "fear of heights" feeling, from way over here. eeeek!


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